Chariots of Fire
Chariots of Fire (1981)

Based on a true story, Chariots of Fire is the internationally acclaimed Oscar-winning drama of two very different men who compete as runners in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a serious Christian Scotsman, believes… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: September 25, 1981
DVD Release Date: August 27, 1997
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Critic Score: 83% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Decidedly slower and less limber than the Olympic runners at the center of its story, the film nevertheless manages to make effectively stirring use of its spiritual and patriotic themes.

Gary Arnold
Washington Post

Despite its bombastic tendencies, Chariots has a healthy glow that's charming.

Full review…
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune

Although it is extremely well made, I frankly don't understand what the shouting is about. Good, yes; great, no.

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Peter Ackroyd
The Spectator

It is an affirmation of clouded and second-hand values -- and, as a result, it becomes vulgar.

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Dave Calhoun
Time Out

Oddly, for a film about triumph over adversity, there's nothing as uplifting as the opening and closing jogs along a windswept beach.

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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

Like every element in this picture, the actors look right; they seem to emerge from the past, instead of being pasted on to it, as so many characters in historical movies seem to be.

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Derek Malcolm
London Evening Standard

The film is not just about the race between Abrahams, the Jewish law student (Ben Cross), and Scottish missionary Eric Liddell (the late Ian Charleson). It's a character study and a social history too.

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Kathleen Carroll
New York Daily News

A movie that, with the help of Vangelis Papathanassiou's wonderfully stirring music, lifts the spirits to a new high.

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Jack Pitman

No imbalance mars the pic, whose cross-the-board achievement lifts it to an impressive level of unified accomplishment.

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Kate Muir
Times (UK)

From the opening scene of pale young men racing barefoot along the beach, full of hope and elation, backed by Vangelis's now famous anthem, the film is utterly compelling.

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More reviews for Chariots of Fire

Flixster Audience Score: 80% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
It is certainly overrated and doesn't justify the many Oscars it won/was nominated to, but still it is technically competent (especially Vangelis'… More
Chris Weber
This is an elegantly low-key fact-based period drama centered around two runners competing for Great Britain during the 1924 Olympics in Paris, One of them,… More
Bathsheba Monk
Okay, so I'm superficial, but the CLOTHES in this movie are breathtaking! As are all the vehicles--cars with wood paneling, sleeper cars in trains with… More
Kevin M. Williams
The will to win is the theme here, determination, and what a job winning actually is. Ian Holm's Oscar for Best Supporting Actor seems well deserved, but… More
Daniel Mumby
The UK re-release of Chariots of Fire to coincide with the London Olympics gives us a golden opportunity to re-examine the film which revitalised the British… More
Jameson Worley
Very good film! A very solid sports films that compares to some of the best of its genre. This Oscar winner for Best Picture is a movie that is often regarded… More

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